Tags: rat | virus | outbreak | illinois | wisconsin | seoul

Rat Virus: Outbreak of Seoul Virus Linked to Pet Rats

Image: Rat Virus: Outbreak of Seoul Virus Linked to Pet Rats

An outbreak of Seoul virus in Illinois and Wisconsin was linked to pet rats. (Nerss/Dreamstime.com)

By    |   Wednesday, 25 Jan 2017 09:38 AM

Pet rats have been linked to a virus outbreak in Illinois and Wisconsin in what is reportedly the first time human Seoul virus infections have been associated with pet rats in the United States.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday confirmed the outbreak of the Seoul virus in eight patients so far in its ongoing investigation, according to CNN. The broadcaster said the rarely scene virus in the United States has been linked to wild rates in the past.

The Seoul virus is carried by wild Norway rats, which first came to North America in the late 1700s and then began to dominate urban centers throughout the country, but most infections today are reported in Asia, stated CNN.

"A home-based rodent breeder in Wisconsin was hospitalized in December 2016 with fever, headache, and other symptoms," according to a statement from the CDC. "CDC tested a blood specimen and confirmed that the infection was caused by Seoul virus, a member of the Hantavirus family of rodent-borne viruses.

"A close family member who also worked with rodents also tested positive for Seoul virus. Both people have recovered. A follow-up investigation at several rat breeders that supplied the initial patient's rats revealed an additional six cases of Seoul virus at two Illinois rat breeding facilities," the CDC statement continued.

"Seoul virus is not known to be transmitted from person to person," Dr. Nirav D. Shah, director of the Illinois Department of Public Health said in a statement. "Therefore, the general public is at extremely low risk. Out of an abundance of caution, we want to let the public know in the event they have recently purchased rats from an affected facility and become ill."

Illinois health officials said in a statement that they have been working with the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, the CDC, and local health departments in investigating the outbreak. The statement said the ratteries in question are not currently selling rats.

Stephanie Smiley, director of the bureau of communicable disease with Wisconsin Department of Health Services, told CNN that Seoul virus symptoms can include fever, chills, nausea, pink eye-type eye infection, and abdominal pain.

She said an infection can, but rarely, progress to hantavirus pulmonary syndrome, which begins with fever, severe aches and fatigue, and may turn fatal.

© 2017 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

 
1Like our page
2Share
TheWire
Pet rats have been linked to a virus outbreak in Illinois and Wisconsin in what is reportedly the first time human Seoul virus infections have been associated with pet rats in the United States.
rat, virus, outbreak, illinois, wisconsin, seoul
385
2017-38-25
Wednesday, 25 Jan 2017 09:38 AM
Newsmax Inc.
 

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved